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Prop 8: LGBT And Anti-Gay Groups Respond To Today’s Supreme Court Decision

by David Badash on November 17, 2011

in News

Post image for Prop 8: LGBT And Anti-Gay Groups Respond To Today’s Supreme Court Decision

LGBT groups wasted no time in responding to today’s decision by the California Supreme Court that ProtectMarriage.com has standing an is legally entitled to defend Prop 8 in court.

(Most-recent update: 2:00 PM ET)

Courage Campaign:

“While we respect the recommendations that the California Supreme Court made to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals– that they grant standing to the proponents of the so-called ProtectMarriage.com — it is only a recommendation,” said Rick Jacobs, chair and founder of the 750,000 member Courage Campaign. “Allowing the Prop 8 proponents to have special rights in Court may open the floodgates to wealthy special interests to do the same. The judges of the 9th Circuit must determine if people who had enough money to buy a ballot measure that calls for people to vote on each other’s rights should have special rights in federal court. Regardless, we are confident that justice and love will prevail.”

Human Rights Campaign:

“With today’s decision, the case challenging Prop 8 returns to federal court and we are one step closer to ending discrimination against loving California couples.  Thousands of California families remain in legal limbo and we urge the Ninth Circuit to quickly issue its decision.  We thank the courageous plaintiffs, the American Foundation for Equal Rights, and the Olson-Boies legal team for their continued fight for the equality of all Californians.”

National Center for Lesbian Rights:

“We disagree profoundly with the California Supreme Court’s holding that a handful of unelected initiative sponsors have the power to represent the interests of the entire public and to override the decisions of the state’s elected executive officers,” said NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell in a statement. “Nonetheless, we are relieved that the case is once again moving forward and the Ninth Circuit will now address whether the initiative proponents can continue this appeal and, if so, whether Prop 8 is constitutional. We hope the Ninth Circuit will issue its decision soon and hasten the day when this damaging law is off the books. Every day that goes by, same-sex couples in California are being denied not only the basic right to marry, but the right to be treated with equal dignity and respect. Same-sex couples in California have lived under the shadow of this unfair law for far too long.”

Lambda Legal:

“While a disappointing ruling, this case is now back in federal court, where we expect a quick victory,” said Lambda Legal’s Legal Director Jon Davidson. “The ruling addresses only a procedural legal question. The key question underlying this case is whether the U.S. Constitution permits a state electorate to treat one group of people unequally to everyone else by depriving them of what the state’s high court has held to be a fundamental right. A federal court has already ruled that it may not. We look forward to seeing that decision upheld so that same-sex couples in California may once again enjoy the freedom to marry.”

“Today’s ruling also does not settle the question as to whether Prop 8 proponents have standing in federal court. It remains up to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to decide whether or not the U.S. Constitution allows initiative proponents to defend a challenge to the measure the proponents supported when elected state officials don’t. We think the U.S. Supreme Court has made clear that they don’t.”

“In the end, the proponents of Prop 8 are just people with an opinion. That does not make them entitled to stand in for the government when they don’t agree with its decisions. We believe the U.S. Court of Appeals should rule that they lack standing under federal law and, if they don’t, that the full Ninth Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court should rule that initiative proponents are not entitled to take over the government’s role.”

Shannon Minter, Legal Director at National Center for Lesbian Rights, via Prop 8 trial Tracker:

“This is a terrible decision in terms of its impact on California law. The court has given initiative proponents unprecedented and virtually unlimited power, and the people of California will be living with the dangerous consequences of that decision for years to come. That said, the Court’s ruling means that the Ninth Circuit will almost certainly find that the proponents of Prop 8 have standing to pursue the appeal, which means that the Ninth Circuit will now decide whether to affirm or reverse Judge Walker’s decision finding that Prop 8 is unconstitutional. If the Ninth Circuit agrees with Judge Walker, the Supreme Court is very likely to take the case. In the bigger picture, this is good news for same-sex couples in California. Prop 8 is blatantly unconstitutional for many reasons—not only because it deprives same-sex couples of a basic right, but because it was enacted for the sole purpose of targeting a particular group in order to deny them equal protection of the laws.”

NOM, the National Organization For Marriage:

“It has been nothing short of shameful to see Governor Jerry Brown, his predecessor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Kamala Harris abdicate their constitutional responsibility to defend Proposition 8 in Court,” said Brian Brown, NOM’s president. “Although today’s ruling from the California Supreme Court confirms that the proponents of Prop 8 have the right to defend their initiative when the state officials refuse to fulfill their sworn duty, it is gratifying to know that the over 7 million Californians who supported the initiative will have a vigorous defense of their decision in our federal courts.”

“With this victory in hand, it is time for the Ninth Circuit to move the Prop 8 litigation forward to its eventual decision by the US Supreme Court,” Brown said. “We fully expect the Ninth Circuit, the most overturned court in America, to invalidate Prop 8, finding some phony right to same-sex marriage in the US constitution. However, once this case gets out of San Francisco and reaches the US Supreme Court, we fully expect to be victorious.”

We’ll continue to update this post as knew comments are released.

Related to today’s decision:

Prop 8: Read Today’s California Supreme Court Decision (Full Text)

Prop 8: Anti-Gay Marriage Supporters Do Have Standing – What Today’s Decision Really Means

 

 

 

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{ 1 comment }

LOrion November 17, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Now for the real work to begin.

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